One of the big offensive lineman Clemson is pursuing this spring is OT Nolan Rucci (6-8 266) of Lititz, PA. He’s rated the #3 offensive tackle in the country in the 247Sports composite and the #1 prospect in Pennsylvania. He’s a Penn State legacy and his brother plays at Wisconsin. Those two are with Clemson and may others battling for his services. Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney and offensive line coach Robbie Caldwell are keeping the Tigers right in the fight.
“I’d say Clemson is pretty high up on the list,” Rucci said. “They’ve been recruiting me pretty hard the past few months. They were one of the visits I actually got to take this spring. I always appreciate spending time with the staff.”
Spending time right now means FacetTme, Zoom conferencing, phone calls and text messages. Rucci said not a day goes by that he’s not locked down with some coaching staff in one form or another. Clemson rings him up regularly.
“Obviously I’ve been in close contact with coach Caldwell in the past few weeks,” Rucci said. “Actually got a chance to sit down with the family and get on FaceTime with Coach Swinney in the last week. That was a really cool experience. We’ve met in person a few times but it was just cool to get another opportunity to sit down with him and talk.”
The message Rucci continues to receive from Swinney and Caldwell is pretty basic.
“I’m a really good fit for their program, not only as a player but as a person,” Rucci said. “Coach Caldwell is such a great dude. I could just sit down and talk to him for hours, not just about football, but about fishing and anything in between. So, I’m just sitting down and having those conversations at this time, and how it would work if I were there.”
Rucci, of course, has offers from coach-to-coast. Some of the others on the list are Notre Dame, Georgia, Michigan, Miami, Stanford, Texas A&M, LSU, Alabama, Florida, Washington, Oklahoma, Arizona State and Oregon. Because of the inability to visit schools this spring, he’s not yet at the point where he’s ready to cut down his list.
“I hope we have that opportunity some time this summer at least to get out and see these schools,” he said. “I would like to make a decision, if everything works out ideally before the season, have a school in mind and maybe commit somewhere. But with this virus, it’s really up in the air.”
Along with Clemson, Rucci also has taken unofficial visits to Tennessee, Penn State and Wisconsin.